Senators Weekly: Pageau, Daccord, Nygard & More

Welcome to Senators Weekly, where you can catch up on the past week of the Ottawa Senators throughout the 2018-19 season. From trending topics to surging prospects to news and notes, this is your weekly roundup on all things Sens.

The team started the week strong with a 4-0 shutout over the Buffalo Sabres. The shutout marked goaltender Craig Anderson’s second of the season and 28th as a Senator. He’s just two back of Patrick Lalime for the organization’s shutout record. It’s also his 42nd career shutout, landing him 39th all-time.

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Facing off against the Florida Panthers, the Senators fell 5-2 despite Brady Tkachuk’s 20th goal and 40th point of the season. Finally, they played the Toronto Maple Leafs, beating them for the second time in two weeks by a score of 4-2.

There was lots of action on and off the ice for the Senators this week, here are the notable headlines and stories.

Pageau Named Senators’ Masterton Nominee

During training camp, the Senators took a serious blow when Jean-Gabriel Pageau tore his achilles. The injury looked to take him out for the 2018-19 campaign, yet Pageau returned after missing just 42 games. Much better than a full season. For overcoming this setback, the 26-year-old has been named the Senators’ Bill Masterton Trophy nominee, voted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association members for Ottawa.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau has been named a finalist for the Bill Masterton Award (Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports)

“I would say that first week was the hardest mentally. Just to get back and really realize that I wouldn’t start with the team and that I would have four to six months – six months, at the start, they told me – that I would be out for the rest of, pretty much the whole year. That was hard mentally.” (From: “Pageau earns Senators’ nomination for Bill Masterton Trophy” – Ottawa Sun – 3/29/19)

Anderson won the award in 2016-17, for finishing the season after leaving when his wife Nicholle was diagnosed with cancer. He is the lone Senator to be awarded the Masterton Trophy to date.

It’s great to have my name nominated for the trophy,” Pageau said. “We’ve heard some great stories from all around the league the past few years (including Anderson in 2017). There has been a lot of work from these guys, personal issues they have been through, and to have my name up there is flattering.”

Since returning from injury, Pageau has three goals and 10 points in 35 games but has been shooting at a career-low 4.0 percent. His average is 9.3. His faceoffs have been above average though, winning 53.46 percent of his draws.

Senators Prospect Daccord Finalist for Mike Richter Award

One area that the Senators look strong for the future is in net. From Marcus Hogberg to Filip Gustavsson, and from Arizona State University, Joey Daccord.

Joey Daccord Ottawa Senators
Ottawa Senators’ prospect Joey Daccord (Photo by Sun Devil Athletics)

Daccord was on fire this season, going 21-12-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. The seventh-round pick from 2015 has been named a finalist for the Mike Richter Award as the top goalie in the NCAA. This comes after he was also named a nominee for the Hobey Baker Award, although he was not a finalist.

It has been discussed that the team will try and sign the 22-year-old, but it’s important to note that the team has just one contract spot left. They’ve also stated that they’re looking to sign Josh Norris and Swedish forward Joakim Nygard, who we’ll get to shortly. Senators general manager Pierre Dorion and goalie coach Pierre Groulx reportedly went to Arizona State’s game on Saturday to watch Daccord in the NCAA Tournament.

The team may need to wait until they are able to make a trade or until July 1, when some free agents walk, to sign one or more of these players. Daccord and Norris should be top priorities though, as both have risen to be top prospects for the club. (From: “GARRIOCH GAME REPORT: Tkachuk is dominant, nets his 20th, but Sens’ mini-streak ends” – Ottawa Sun – 3/2819)

Daccord’s season came to an end after Saturday’s playoff match versus Quinnipiac. The ASU goaltender faced 38 shots in the 2-1 defeat. The playoff game was ASU’s first NCAA Tournament game in the program’s history.

Senators Looking to Sign Nygard

As mentioned, the Senators have shown interest in Nygard. Nygard is currently playing for the Farjestads BK Karlstadt of the Swedish Hockey League and had 21 goals and 35 points in 52 games in the regular season. Both of those totals are career highs.

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TSN’s Darren Dreger first reported that the team was showing interest, as were the Calgary Flames. “His agent, Matt Keator, has been fielding interest from NHL clubs for several months now, to be frank,” said Dreger. “Of the teams interested: Ottawa, Calgary – they’re both in on this guy hard.”

Dreger compared Nygard to Carl Hagelin, noting that the left winger has elite skating ability and can “flat out fly.” He has played 325 games in the SHL, collecting 147 points, while adding 12 points in 11 playoff games. He’s also played in the SuperElit for 92 games, totalling 102 points.

The 26-year-old would require a one-year, entry-level deal if he were to come into the NHL, and may be a good choice for the Senators, who will need to fill the roster in order to properly develop some of the young players in the system.

Senators Week Ahead

It’s finally here, the last week of the regular season for the Senators. While many have been waiting for this season to end, there are still four games left for them. They’ll face off against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers, Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets before the busy offseason begins.